“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
At first glance, those words “be anxious for nothing” seem impossible in daily life. I believe they can be achieved, but not easily.
Many people are anxious in this hectic holiday season leading up to Christmas. Before we could even finish enjoying Thanksgiving with our families, merchants were encouraging us to begin the shopping frenzy. They offered discounts on every type of device that we just can’t live without. Everyone, including myself, loves a deal—but at what cost?
For me, it’s most important to be with my family on holidays, rather than rushing from shop to shop (or elsewhere). Being present keeps my mind clear of clutter. This is one way I can control my impulse to engage in activities that may not be good for me.
We are energized by different things in life. Being conscious of those things in ourselves is critical. When I have an uneasy feeling about my own thoughts or actions, I know it is time to take a closer look. For example, every time I saw an advertisement about store hours and mall openings on Thanksgiving, I felt a little tense. Finally, it dawned on me that it was a feeling of anxiety that I was causing for myself. No one has to shop just because the stores are open.
I chose not sacrifice time spent playing games and enjoying family for a discount on something that I probably don’t need anyway. Today I feel more thankful than ever. My prayer point is that every day can be a day of thanksgiving and a day we focus on how to keep ourselves free from unnecessary stress.
Lord, help me to be thankful for the gift of family and the bond that continues to grow each day. Help me to avoid anxiety and stress where I can. Give me peace this season and help me to remember that you are the source of my strength. In Jesus’ name, Amen.